"I'm not a fatalist. But even if I were, what could I do about it?"
- Emo Philips


Credit Card Companies - Are You Listening?!

Here is the slimyest thing that credit card companies do IMHO: [Are you guys listening?]
They used to use a 30-day grace period window to both calculate when your interest is due and to determine when your next payment was due. NOW, most of them have a 25-day grace period. Here is a direct quote:
"You have 25 days to repay your balance for purchases before a finance charge on purchases will be imposed. If the new balance is not paid in full within 25 days, a finance charge will apply to both the balance remaining (including current billing cycle transactions) and to all transactions during succeeding billing cycles until the new balance is paid in full."
So what does that mean?
  • They earn more interest
  • People are late more often due to the sliding due date and they get more exorbitant late fees
  • Worst one: Your bill is due at a different time each month

This is inconvenient on so many levels -- such as, you cannot use the online Billpay that your bank offers (in most cases).

But here is the worst thing -- like most people, my mortgage payment is due at the beginning of the month, and I get paid bi-weekly. So the first paycheck of the month gets eaten into a lot more than the second (due to the mortgage payment). But when the credit card bills migrate into the first half of the month, then I owe so much in the first half that there is little left until the next paycheck. It makes it very difficult to plan expenses this way!

I would rather pay a small annual fee to get a consistent pay date -- of my choice -- than to worry about having money the first half of any given month. I'm not sure if any provider even offers this; in fact, when I tried to search for this at creditcards.com and MSN MoneyCentral, there search criteria did not even let me search for it. (I wonder why?)

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Joke for the Long Weekend

A woman walks into a drugstore and asks the pharmacist if he sells extra large condoms.

He replies, "Yes we do. Would you like to buy some?"

She responds, "No sir, but do you mind if I wait around here until someone does?"

"Some mornings it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps."
- Emo Philips


Hypocritical Mexico (but a nice place to visit)

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- If Arnold Schwarzenegger had migrated to Mexico instead of the United States, he couldn't be a governor. If Argentina native Sergio Villanueva, firefighter hero of the Sept. 11 attacks, had moved to Tecate instead of New York, he wouldn't have been allowed on the force.

Even as Mexico presses the United States to grant unrestricted citizenship to millions of undocumented Mexican migrants, its officials at times calling U.S. policies "xenophobic," Mexico places daunting limitations on anyone born outside its territory.

In the United States, only two posts - the presidency and vice presidency - are reserved for the native born. In Mexico, non-natives are banned from those and thousands of other jobs, even if they are legal, naturalized citizens.

Foreign-born Mexicans can't hold seats in either house of the congress. They're also banned from state legislatures, the Supreme Court and all governorships. Many states ban foreign-born Mexicans from spots on town councils. And Mexico's Constitution reserves almost all federal posts, and any position in the military and merchant marine, for "native-born Mexicans."

Recently the Mexican government has gone even further. Since at least 2003, it has encouraged cities to ban non-natives from such local jobs as firefighters, police and judges.

Mexico's Interior Department - which recommended the bans as part of "model" city statutes it distributed to local officials - could cite no basis for extending the bans to local posts.

After being contacted by The Associated Press about the issue, officials changed the wording in two statutes to delete the "native-born" requirements, although they said the modifications had nothing to do with AP's inquiries.

These statutes have been under review for some time, and they have, or are about to be, changed," said an Interior Department official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name.

But because the "model" statues are fill-in-the-blanks guides for framing local legislation, many cities across Mexico have already enacted such bans. They have done so even though foreigners constitute a tiny percentage of the population and pose little threat to Mexico's job market.

The foreign-born make up just 0.5 percent of Mexico's 105 million people, compared with about 13 percent in the United States, which has a total population of 299 million. Mexico grants citizenship to about 3,000 people a year, compared to the U.S. average of almost a half million.

"There is a need for a little more openness, both at the policy level and in business affairs," said David Kim, president of the Mexico-Korea Association, which represents the estimated 20,000 South Koreans in Mexico, many of them naturalized citizens.

"The immigration laws are very difficult ... and they put obstacles in the way that make it more difficult to compete," Kim said, although most foreigners don't come to Mexico seeking government posts.

J. Michael Waller, of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, was more blunt. "If American policy-makers are looking for legal models on which to base new laws restricting immigration and expelling foreign lawbreakers, they have a handy guide: the Mexican constitution," he said in a recent article on immigration.

Some Mexicans agree their country needs to change.

"This country needs to be more open," said Francisco Hidalgo, a 50-year-old video producer. "In part to modernize itself, and in part because of the contribution these (foreign-born) people could make."

Others express a more common view, a distrust of foreigners that academics say is rooted in Mexico's history of foreign invasions and the loss of territory in the 1847-48 Mexican-American War.

Speaking of the hundreds of thousands of Central Americans who enter Mexico each year, chauffeur Arnulfo Hernandez, 57, said: "The ones who want to reach the United States, we should send them up there. But the ones who want to stay here, it's usually for bad reasons, because they want to steal or do drugs."

Some say progress is being made. Mexico's president no longer is required to be at least a second-generation native-born. That law was changed in 1999 to clear the way for candidates who have one foreign-born parent, like President Vicente Fox, whose mother is from Spain. But the pace of change is slow. The state of Baja California still requires candidates for the state legislature to prove both their parents were native born.


Social Security Scam Quote

"The Senate was holding hearings on deceptive sweepstakes practices. These companies target the elderly, making them think they're going to get a bunch of money, when in reality they never see any of it. The most popular of these scams is called Social Security." - Colin Quinn


Qantas Pilot's on Top of all Maintenance Issues

Not sure if this is true, but supposedly these are Qantas pilots' maintenance complaint sheet  entries and the solutions recorded by maintenance engineers. [P= pilot entry; S= service tech entry]

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what they're for.

P: IFF inoperative.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

P. Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.

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One Liners

"My friend Winnie is a procrastinator. He didn't get his birthmark until he was eight years old." - Steven Wright

"When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord, in his wisdom, didn't work that way. So I stole one, and asked him to forgive me." - Emo Philips

"Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair." - George Burns


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Q&A Day (Jokes)

Q: What do you get when you cross a Jehovah's Witness with an Athiest?
A: Someone who knocks on your door for no apparent reason.  (Guy Owen)

Q: What's the difference between snot and cauliflower?
A: Kids will eat snot

Q: What are the two biggest lies in Poland?
A: "The check is in your mouth" and "I won't come in the mail."

Q: What do you call a nun riding piggyback on the hunchback of Notre Dame?
A: Virgin on the ridiculous.

Q: How do you blind a Chinese person?
A: Put a windshield in front of him.

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McD Coffee - Yuk

I love how McDonalds now puts the milk & sugar in your coffee, and tries to pass it off as a benefit to YOU...like they're really helping you out by doing that for you...
First of all the real reason they do it, is to keep the cost of people using too much milk and/or sugar. I happen to like a lot of milk in my coffee -- now I can't get it. I understand about cutting costs -- really -- but don't try and make it like you're doing us all a favor! If they really want to help out, how about doing my laundry? Or at least clean those disgusting tables...
PS - McD's coffee is nasty anyway!
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